Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

A Day in the Life Of

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

A Day in the Life Of

Article excerpt

As carnival season comes to an end in São Paulo, Brazil, this globe-trotting primary teacher and football fan looks forward to some world-class sport - and improving his Portuguese accent

After deciding that England was too cold, I embarked on a teaching journey that has taken me to Vietnam, Singapore and now São Paulo - Brazil's largest city and one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere. It is also a host city for this year's Fifa World Cup in June and July. Ever since I secured my ticket for England v Uruguay a few weeks ago, each day has been that much happier.

My morning starts at around 6.15am, when I wake up and prepare myself an English/Brazilian breakfast. I heat up some Quaker Oats porridge (I am down to the final tin brought over by my mother on her last visit) and I make a smoothie from acai berries, which are native to Brazil.

I live on the 14th floor, in an apartment that overlooks the vast sprawl of the city. Once I have checked the BBC Sport website (there is never any good news of my beloved Aston Villa), I take the elevator down to pick up my bicycle. I wait for the portero to open the gate, then I cycle up the ramp and on to the chaotic streets. It takes me only about 10 minutes to ride to school, but on the roads of São Paulo you have to be vigilant. Motorbikes tend not to see red lights, as a few of my friends have discovered.

I arrive at school, wish the security guards "bom dia" (good day) and park my bike in the garage. I work at St Paul's School, where we offer the British national curriculum to mainly Brazilian children. After working in Singapore, where all the children were expatriates, it's nice to really get to know the Brazilian young people and understand how their lives are lived. …

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